I have long been of the opinion that cars are really antique. Some guy invented the combustion engine years ago and carts started to morph into cars, however the basic principle behind them has not really changed – in many instances. Some exceptions only.

While there are many different technologies around, not too many seem to be making it into mainstream and hardly any of them are affordable by the general public.

The shiny “all new C class” add came in on LinkedIn and I though I check them out. What a disappointment.

So fresh, so nice, so shiny, so elegant. But under the hood a petrol combustion engine, wrapped in all sorts of technology for which you have to pay the price.

I checked out the “Environment” tab and I could not find anything regarding petrol consumption, they don’t even tell you.

  • ECO start-stop function: My 13 year old prius got that.
  • Intelligent energy management: Again my 13 year old $5000 Prius got that.
  • Environmentally sustainable: Now here we go:
    • The C class has a CD value of .24 whereas my prius has a .26. Huh, what a difference. But hang on, all the previous C classes had the same value- so not new. And for all the boy racers out there, a Nissan Skyline has a CD value of .40… (note: the lower, the better).
    • C class has LED technology, my Prius has not. Guess there could be some major savings for the headlights. I am sure the new bulbs that I could put in would pay off in a few years time.
    • Weight reductions achieved for the C class, yeah – no idea.
    • And the C class engines “combine superior performance with exemplary efficiency”. So the petrol consumption should be very low then, no? Say around 4l/100km?

So the slightly better CD value and some LED’s make this car sustainable? Autsch.

Then we have the tyre rolling resistance. The C class has reduced them. Well, firstly that would only apply to the tyres that come with it, once you change them, this benefit is lost.
I have Bridgestone Ecopia tyres on my Prius, both very low rolling resistance and also carboNZero certified, ie. all carbon emissions in production offset. Beat that C class.

And at the end of the page, we can read “Innovative engine technology has significantly reduced emissions and fuel consumption.”

So once again I suspect something along the 4l/100km then?

No idea because they simply do not tell us.

However when we take a look on Rightcar, we can get petrol consumption values of 6.3 to 6.8l/100km depending on what model you take (C180 or C250). Mind you this is for the 2012/2013 models.

So in summary, the “all new” C class may be better than some previous models and is probably a lot better than similar “luxury” cars, but still lacking a lot behind some 13 year old Toyota hybrid technology for much less money.

Now I would not even consider a Prius “sustainable” in any way, just a stepping stone into the right direction, a transition.

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